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#pounditSaturday, January 22, 2022

Articles tagged: Chris Petersen

USC reportedly not giving up on landing notable ex-Pac 12 coach

Chris Petersen at a press conference

The USC Trojans continue to eye big names in their search for a new head coach, including one former Pac-12 rival.

According to Scott Roussel of Football Scoop, USC athletic director Mike Bohn is particularly intrigued with two candidates for the school’s vacant head coaching position. One is Penn State’s James Franklin, as has been widely reported.

The other is former Washington coach Chris Petersen. The 57-year-old is in his second year away from coaching after abruptly leaving Washington following the 2019 season. Petersen has long been eyed by USC, but has never accepted their overtures.

As recently as September, Petersen sounded uninterested in the USC job. Perhaps that’s changed, or perhaps the Trojans think they can change his mind. The appeal is that USC wouldn’t have to go through any hurdles to land Petersen, as he’s not attached to any program. He also has ample Pac-12 experience with Washington.

Franklin is appealing, but the Trojans appear to have competition there. The door may be open to wild card candidates as well.

Photo: Jul 24, 2019; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Washington Huskies coach Chris Petersen during Pac-12 football media day at Hollywood & Highland. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Petersen not interested in USC job

Chris Petersen

USC fired Clay Helton as its head football coach on Monday, and Chris Petersen has been mentioned as a potential candidate for the job. Apparently he is not interested.

Petersen resigned as the head coach at Washington back in 2019. According to Bruce Feldman of The Athletic, he has no desire to return to coaching at this time.

Petersen made Boise State into a powerhouse program and surprised many when he left. He then turned Washington back into a winner in the Pac-12. He is 147-38 as a head coach. He has proven he could win in the Pac-12 and would likely have success at USC, but he’s obviously not up to the challenge.

Though he is young by coaching standards at 56, Petersen seemed burnt out when he turned over the Washington program to Jimmy Lake.

Here are some other names USC could target in its search.

Report: UCLA could move on from Chip Kelly, target Urban Meyer

Urban Meyer

The UCLA Bruins could make major changes to the football program this offseason, and maybe even target some big names.

According to Scott Roussel of Football Scoop, Chip Kelly’s job is not guaranteed for 2021. New UCLA athletic director Martin Jarmond, who took the job over in May, will assess all aspects of the football program, including Kelly’s position. Kelly would be due a $9 million buyout if the Bruins chose to move on from him.

If Kelly is fired, UCLA would reportedly target Urban Meyer or Chris Petersen to replace him. Jarmond has close ties to Meyer in particular, with Jarmond serving as the lead administrator for the Ohio State football program during Meyer’s time there. The two are said to be “genuine friends,” which could lead UCLA to believe they could actually lure Meyer.

Petersen, the former Washington coach, would be another candidate. Jarmond reportedly discussed the Boston College opening with Petersen when Jarmond was filling that position last winter, though the job ultimately went to Ohio State defensive coordinator Jeff Hafley.

Jarmond responded to the report on Twitter, saying there was no truth to the rumors.

Kelly has ultimately been a disappointment at UCLA, having gone just 10-20 over three seasons. Touted by some as a coup when hired, Kelly has failed to impress the fanbase and has left the door open for a possible change.

UCLA aiming big like this is bound to excite fans and boosters, but it’s hard to see this becoming a reality. However strong the friendship is between Jarmond and Meyer, it’s tough to see the former Ohio State coach taking the UCLA position when he turned down this even bigger job already. Jarmond has every right to do his due diligence, but he may well find that UCLA simply won’t be able to do better than Kelly at this point.

Chris Petersen resigns as Washington head coach

Chris Petersen

The NCAA coaching carousel has just handed us our first real surprise of the season.

The Washington Huskies announced that head coach Chris Petersen will step down following the team’s bowl game. Defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake will take over as head coach, and Petersen will assume an advisory role with the program.

“I’ll be a Husky for life, but now is the right time for me to step away from my head coaching duties, and recharge,” Petersen said in the statement announcing the move.

Petersen made his name going 92-12 at Boise State before jumping to Washington, where he went 54-26 and made them nationally relevant. He posted three 10-win seasons, reaching the College Football Playoff in 2016. Petersen’s move comes on the heels of a rather underwhelming campaign that saw the team go 7-5 after being ranked No. 13 in the preseason AP poll.

Lake is a highly-touted assistant, and the fact that he was immediately handed the job is not a surprise to those in the know. The program demonstrated just how highly they thought of him with the deal they gave him a year and a half ago.

Petersen is still only 55, which is young in coaching terms. That, and the fact that he mentioned a desire to “recharge” in announcing the move, suggests he could be coaching again sooner rather than later.

Here are the terms of Lake’s new contract with Washington.

Chris Petersen’s highest-rated recruit ever requests release from NLI to Washington

Chris Petersen

The Washington Huskies’ incoming freshman class is set to take a massive hit.

Adam Jude of the Seattle Times reported Thursday that five-star linebacker Ale Kaho, who was the highest-rated recruit ever landed by head coach Chris Petersen, has formally requested to be released from his NLI to Washington.

Jude notes in his report that Kaho, a native of Reno, Nev., is dealing with a number of personal issues — an aunt and an uncle died suddenly in July, his parents are going through a divorce, and family members have expressed concern about Kaho’s health after he reportedly lost 20 pounds recently.

“He had so much stuff going on right now,” an anonymous family member was quoted as saying. “Football is not even our concern right now. He does not look right. He does not act right. He’s not the same bubbly kid we know.”

Kaho, who is listed at 6-foot-1 and 218 pounds, is the top-rated inside linebacker recruit for the 2018 class, per 247Sports.

As for the Huskies, who were Pac-12 North co-champs last year and earned a Fiesta Bowl berth, they recently made a large commitment to their defense. For the time being though, they will be forced to turn to other players to make an impact on that side of the ball.

Chris Petersen impressed by Washington State defense

Mike Leach

Mike Leach and Washington State tend to get a lot of praise for their high-powered offense, but it’s the defense that the Washington Huskies have their eye on.

Washington coach Chris Petersen had high praise for the Cougar defense when assessing the game on Monday.

Petersen has a point. Only ten teams have allowed fewer yards per game than the Cougars, who will be playing for a spot in the Pac-12 title game on Saturday. While Petersen pores over Leach’s defense, Leach appears relaxed — in his own unique way, of course.

Chris Petersen has hilarious quote about facing Stanford

Chris Petersen

Chris Petersen’s Washington Huskies will be taking on Stanford on Friday night, and the Huskies head coach had a great quote about preparing for that matchup.

Here’s what Petersen said on Monday ahead of the game.

That’s awesome.

Stanford is one of the few teams in today’s power-5 college football that uses a fullback. They run a number of power formations and sometimes stack up with multiple tight end sets, which is also unusual.

The power running formations have worked well for the Cardinal, which are 6-3 entering the game and have never won fewer than eight games in a season under David Shaw.

Chris Petersen apologizes for ‘painful’ late start times

Chris Petersen

Chris Petersen on Monday apologized to his fans for the constant late starting times for Washington’s football games this season.

The Huskies are 5-0 this season and have not had a kickoff time of early than 5 p.m., which is 8 p.m. on the East Coast. They just learned their next two games will begin at 7:45 p.m., which means it will be around midnight on the East Coast before the game hits halftime.

“I just want to say something to our fans: we apologize for these late games. And I’d also like to reiterate it has nothing to do with us or the administration,” Petersen said Monday, via the AP. “We want to play at 1 p.m. It hurts us tremendously in terms of national exposure. No one wants to watch our game on the East Coast that late, and we all know it. We haven’t had a kickoff before 5 p.m. this season.

“And so it’s painful for our team, it’s painful for our administration and we know certainly the most important part is for our fans.”

As the Huskies have become better, their games are more desirable for placement on national TV. The spots available for Pac-12 games to be aired nationally are generally at night, which results in the late kickoff times. It’s somewhat of a good problem to have. That means Petersen and Huskies fans better get used to this because it’s not likely to change the rest of the season.

10 best coaches in college football

Dabo Swinney

Who are the truly elite coaches in college football? Many coaches have an argument that they should be considered elite. Many have been successful in their careers, but a few go above and beyond, winning consistently no matter where they go. We have identified just who those coaches are.

With the 2017 season getting closer and closer, here is a list of the 10 best coaches in college football.

10) Tom Herman, Texas

One might argue that it’s too soon for Herman to appear on a list like this. After all, he has just two seasons as a head coach to his name, but he’s 22-4 in those two seasons, including a 13-1 inaugural season with the Houston Cougars. They slipped to 9-3 a season later, but even that year featured victories over two top-five teams at the time in Oklahoma and Louisville.

Though Houston lost a few surprising games during his tenure, Herman had them ready for the big ones. Herman’s Cougars never lost to an AP Top 25 opponent or a Power-5 foe, going 6-0 and 5-0 respectively. He parlayed his success into a move to Texas, where, by his own admission, he has his work cut out for him.

It may take time, but it’s hard to imagine him not being a success there.

9) Mark Dantonio, Michigan State


Chris Petersen: Art Briles knew about Sam Ukwuachu’s problems


Baylor defensive end Sam Ukwuachu was found guilty on Thursday of sexually assaulting a former Baylor soccer player in October 2013. Bears head coach Art Briles told reporters this week that he was unaware of Ukwuachu’s history of violence that in part led to him being kicked off the team at Boise State in May 2013.

Chris Petersen, who coached Ukwuachu at Boise State before he transferred to Baylor, says Briles is a liar.

In a statement to on Friday, Petersen said he had a phone call with Briles in 2013 shortly after Ukwuachu was dismissed from Boise State.

“After Sam Ukwuachu was dismissed from the Boise State football program and expressed an interest in transferring to Baylor, I initiated a call with coach Art Briles,” Petersen said. “In that conversation, I thoroughly apprised Coach Briles of the circumstances surrounding Sam’s disciplinary record and dismissal.”

Briles said the only thing Petersen mentioned to him in that phone call is that Ukwuachu — who is from Texas — was going through a tough time and needed to come “home.”

“No mention of anything beyond Sam being depressed and needing to come home,” Briles said. “So that was our information. And that’s what you go by.”

Ukwuachu never played a game at Baylor after transferring there in 2013, months after being kicked off the team at Boise State. In addition to a former Baylor soccer player saying she was raped, a former girlfriend of Ukwuachu’s also testified during the trial and claimed Ukwuachu punched her, choked her and physically assaulted her on numerous occasions. Ukwuachu was dismissed from the Boise State football program in 2013 for an unspecified violation of team rules.

“Nobody is going to do that — bring somebody in with a prior conviction or really an allegation,” Briles said. “Like I said, we made our decision on the knowledge we had two years ago.”

It’s hard to believe that Briles had no knowledge of Ukwuachu’s violent past. The final straw for Ukwuachu getting kicked off the team at Boise State was him drunkenly punching through a windows. Did Briles and Baylor not know about that? They obviously didn’t know Ukwuachu was going to rape a woman once he was on campus, but they definitely should have been a lot more careful with a player who clearly had serious issues upon transferring.

Photo: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports